Spreading the Valentine Love…. Throughout the Month of February XOXO

img_20160201_182850-1Those who know me, know I am a “theme” crazy person. Whether it be a holiday, an era, or any subject imaginable, I love a good theme!

Now that we are in February and somewhat moving out of the “Winter” theme, it’s time to mix it with all the love and hearts of Valentine’s Day!!

img_20160202_143810-1***This is my Winter wreath magically turned into my Valentine’s wreath! So easy and what a beautiful way to repurpose!

I am presented with a large challenge this year. We just moved out of state AGAIN and I am up to my ears with boxes and cannot find half of my décor at the moment… but, I want to share with you, all that I did last year to hopefully inspire you to spread the Valentine Love in your home while I can’t.. for now!!

I always like to include the Winter décor theme with all my other themes in Jan, Feb, and part of March. The Winter tree stays with some new embellishments as well as the Winter mantel. Of course, the tablescape changes to the new theme but I like to leave the pine cones around as long as possible. I don’t know why but I love them 🙂

 

img_20160202_120350187_hdr-1****Another little “find” at the Dollar store! And… my favorite Yankee Candle scents for February are Cherries on the Snow, Red Raspberry, Sparkling Cinnamon and Home for the Holidays.

Please remember if you are like me and love to redecorate regularly with different themes, that you DO NOT have to spend a lot. I like to shop those garage sales and Goodwill’s and the ever resourceful Dollar Stores! It’s not what something costs, it’s what it can bring to your theme/décor. I have at times added the BEST part of my tablescape or décor with something I found at the Dollar Store or Goodwill. For example… I will often get inspiration from just looking on the shelves at all the trinkets I find and it tends to lead me to some of my greatest creations. One year I found these adorable heart vases at a Dollar Store and I turned them into flatware holders! Then it seemed the whole tablescape just materialized around them. And… it cost a whole $6!!!! 🙂 img_20160209_181842640-1

And I also love to decorate with candy! All the adorable candy out for Valentines day with all the little sayings on them and all the bows and embellishments! Just look at how beautiful all the boxes of candy are for this holiday… easy and cheap décor.. and you can eat it too!!!!

img_20160212_100935238-1****This is just my normal floral on my buffet that I have embellished for this theme at a whole cost of $1.50! I bought the items after Valentine’s Day at 80% off 🙂

And those of you who follow me know that one of my signatures is to decorate my beverage/wine glasses. And just about anything works!! One of my favorites is Mardi Gras beads…again, cheap and adorable!

Don’t forget the oldie but goodie doilies! Or the many choices of children’s Valentines that are great for many things, including place cards! And take a look at all your Christmas red. For example, I use my red napkins for Christmas AND Valentines Day and my green napkins for Christmas AND St. Patrick’s Day. It always helps when you buy things in solid colors then it makes everything interchangeable.

So c’mon ya’ll! Feel sorry for me and my temporary interruption of themed decorating and have a decorating explosion of Valentines hearts and flowers for ME!! And don’t forget, you can leave up your Valentine’s décor throughout the month of February.img_20160201_182850-1

I would love to see all of your creations of ANY theme so please tag me on Facebook or Instagram or send me your photos.. I may feature them on my blog! 🙂

Happy February.. Happy Valentine’s Day.. and Happy Decorating!!!!! XOXO

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Not Totally Lettin Go of Christmas… Just Movin On to… “Winter”:)

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Here that time comes again, after New Years, that time you look around at all your Christmas décor and just sigh. Not only do you dread taking ALL those decorations down but it’s really kind of sad. At least for people like me it is. 🙂 You put so much work into it and it brings so much joy that you hate to see it go.

One year I looked around and I HATED how my house looked after all the holiday decorations were taken down and put away. It was so bare and empty and actually made me feel depressed. I felt like it lost all the warmth and love we had been enjoying for the last month. So I said…”Mmmmmmmmmmm… I can solve this.” And over the years I came up with a solution for my “Put Away the Christmas” blues.

img_20160122_143258523-1img_20160122_143307502-1** My Winter Mantel

I am one of those strange people who decorate for every holiday there is. In fact it always drove me crazy that I had nothing to decorate for from Christmas to Valentines Day. So, I took control of the calendar and created the “Winter” theme for poor neglected January!

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It turned out to be one of my favorite themes of the year! It consists of pine, wood, bark, greens and browns, birds, snowflakes, snowmen, burlap, angels, cinnamon sticks, raffia and some pops of red. You can still burn all your pine candles! YEAH!! My Christmas tree turns into a “Winter” tree and then moves on to a Valentines tree in February and a St. Patty’s Day tree in March. Then, sadly gets put away for spring and Easter. (That’s another article 🙂 )

So, if you look out the window at all the snow and it just doesn’t feel natural to put away all that Holiday joy, consider “Winter”. The elves, reindeer, candy canes, mistletoe, stockings, and Santa will have to go, but all else can hang around for another month of warmth and happiness!

cropped-img_20160110_215613-1.jpgCreated with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Let the Fall Explosion Begin! :)

img_20161017_195614If you read my blog you know what a fan I am of the Fall season. I tend to be a little on the obsessed side of it all, but I am not embarrassed…not a bit. If you are going to be addicted to something, let it be pumpkins and spice I say!! You will now be, and in many future posts, inundated with examples of my obsession…pictures of my madness… an orange and autumn explosion of décor, festive corniness and just an all out drowning of leaves, pumpkins, apples and spice and everything nice!! Get ready to feel my love! I hope I can bring you over the dark “amber” side and get you to become as big a fan of Fall as I am!!! Enjoy!! 🙂 img_20161018_101209img_20160926_103940My Roasted Ginger Curry Autumn Medley.. super easy recipe and delicious!! Look for it in my Healthy Selections or Recipes section…

Entertaining in the Fall…why it is the best time of year to host a gathering :)

img_20160801_121324-1Whether you are an experienced Host or someone who is just thinking of entertaining at home the Fall season is by far your best bet. Until recently, I hosted my annual get together of about 25-35 people every year without fail in October…and let me tell you why.

Not only is Fall the BEST time of year but October is only host to one festive holiday… Halloween. And that falls at the very end of the month. So, you are left with an entire 30 days to do…WHATEVER!

It’s not like September, November, or December. September is busy with back to school, Fall sports, and it’s still mainly a Summer month… November starts to get pretty cold and in todays day and age most people are already in Christmas mode and wanting to spend their weekends shopping…and let us NOT forget Thanksgiving (my favorite) and that pesky and ANNOYING black Friday…THEN, when you finally get to December, Christmas and the Holiday season are in full swing with family and work parties and MORE shopping. So, in other words, having a social gathering of any kind in these months is a big risk and you will be fighting to get any of your guests to show up.img_20160110_215613-1

When I host a party, I prefer my guests to WANT to be there. What I mean is, if there are a million other things going on they are more than likely doing a “charitable show up” and popping in just to make an appearance. No no no no ….not good for me. I want them 100%. I want them showing up and STAYING and relaxing and having FUN…and not thinking of where else they need to be.

So when picking a date, be strategic. Talk to perspective guests and get an idea of what day of the month is good for them. Let’s face it…entertaining is a lot of work. It’s a labor of love for someone like me, I do LOVE it, but even I don’t want to put in all that work and expense to only have 1/3 of my guest list show. Also, be mindful of the day of the week you pick. I ALWAYS recommend a Saturday evening. Friday, people are usually tired and need to unwind from the week.. Sunday is.. well.. SUNDAY.. and weekdays are just too busy for most. A Saturday evening is usually perfect. Parents can go to soccer or football games..do their shopping, cleaning, appointments etc. and have plenty of time to get the kids situated and pull themselves together for the evening.

My biggest and MOST important tip for entertaining…listening??  Because it’s REALLY important and my golden rule.. “If you CAN do it ahead..DO IT!” No exceptions. It is the only way you will host a successful and fun event. There is nothing worse than showing up to a party and the Host/Hostess is frazzled, stressed and unorganized. Then your guests feel bad because they want YOU to have fun too. Heck, I WANT to have fun at my parties.. I WANT to enjoy the fruits of my labor and my guests.

So here’s what you do…

I suggest you take the Friday off before the big Saturday. It really is necessary if you can swing it. You will want to send out your invites 2-4 weeks ahead of time. And these days any form of invites are acceptable…social media, text, email. I still prefer mailing out my invitations. I feel it’s more personal and gives them something tangible to hold on to.

Start a notebook of notes and to-do lists. Start your lists a month before. Have to-do’s per week and per day. Have your menu planned along with your shopping list. I recommend choosing all appetizers and finger foods that can be made ahead. People prefer munching at social gatherings and not heavy elaborate meals. So save yourself all that work. img_20160802_172859-1

Plan your beverages. I like to have one signature cocktail…usually something fun. Then I add a beer and wine selection all ready to go and chilled in big beverage tins. I also like to place beverages in numerous places so guests don’t have to go far when they are thirsty. And don’t forget water, coffee, and soft drinks.

By the time the Friday before the big day comes you should have everything in place, decorated, prepared, cleaned, and arranged by that evening. Only the finishing touches, food set up, filling bins with ice, and lighting candles should be left for Saturday. 1928                            **My Famous Wine Cocktail

img_20160816_125916863_hdrYou as the Host/Hostess should be dressed and ready by 1 hour before your guests are due to arrive. Then you walk around with a cocktail in your hand (I recommend having 2 before guests arrive 😉 ), turn on the music you have chosen for the evening, and do a last check of your preparations and do any needed finishing touches. When your guests come knocking you should be calm, happy and ready to have a great time! Not running around prepping and fixing everything…img_20160106_104702-1**My Chunky Meatballs

As for all the décor and the pretties? I just want everything to look SPECTACULAR when my guests walk in.. that first impression…that first look… then after that.. WHO CARES! Let it get messed up! Let’s just have fun and enjoy each other.. THAT is what Sunday will be for (and probably the whole next week Lol). Clean up has no deadlines anyway 🙂cropped-img_20160806_161615-1.jpg

So, October most assuredly gets my vote for the best time to plan an event. And don’t forget about how perfect it is for fireside gatherings. Your event can be inside AND outside. And luckily you won’t have to put up with that lovely humidity!

I also LOVE to always have a theme. Seems to just make everything more fun and festive. I will be posting all my tips for themes in my next article.

If you have ever thought of hosting or are a pro at it consider the amazing month of October in this GLORIOUS Fall season to host your event, big or small. You won’t regret it. My most memorable parties have been in October and I plan to have many more.. img_20160922_154104

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!

Pre-Fall Tablescape’s Last Hurrah (and the love behind it)

img_20160922_154104Here’s the full shot of this warm and vibrant tablescape. I may keep it up a little bit longer. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of other Fall decorating to do in-the-meantime!  If you could see how many crates and boxes of Fall décor I have you would accuse me of being a holiday hoarder!  Is there such a thing? Well, anyway if there is… I am the Queen! And I am just NOT embarrassed of it! A festive heart and spirit leads to a loving and charitable soul…I always say. It just makes the world a happier place.cropped-img_20160922_081547.jpg And, I know in today’s day and age we are just so busy and tired and most don’t feel like being festive and decorating. But, I promise you it doesn’t take much. Try just a wreath on the door or burning a candle that’s scent matches the season. It makes the crazy world not so crazy for small moments at a time. And when you make SOMEONE ELSE happy with your festive spirit.. it brings you some joy too. I promise. Try it sometime. That’s WHY I have always been this crazy festive person. It brings happiness and therefore fills me with satisfaction and happiness as well.img_20160919_150446 All the neighborhood kids always said, ” We always know what time of year it is when we come to Mrs. Head’s house. We know by the candy bowl and how everything always smells sooo good!”  I took so much pride in that! My famous candy bowl always had treats coinciding with the time of year..and they always made a b-line right to it! The funny thing is that no matter how old my neighborhood “orphans” (inside story) get… they ALWAYS continue to go to that candy bowl and ALWAYS continue to enjoy my festive spirit. And, I am FOREVER grateful and blessed for that. Happy Fall everyone….. 🙂img_20160726_155142

Another Sneak Peek Pre-Fall Tablescape

img_20160913_191128I am loving this tablescape more and more each day! May have to leave it up a little longer than usual. In this sneak peek I want you to notice my signature of blinging up the wine glasses. It is one of my “things” lol! No matter what type of glass..it can be a margarita glass or a highball glass or just water glasses.. I like them to stand out and sparkle! Sometimes it’s with something your guest removes before using the glass and sometimes I attach it to stay on during use…which is much more fun! On this tablescape I decided to use vintage brooches. Crazy right? They can easily be attached with large glue dots (make sure they are the good ones) and are so pretty! I have quite a collection of them thanks to my late Grandma and lots of garage sales! This glass has a vintage Avon pin that had the perfume in it! So cool! I had enough vintage leaf brooches that I was able to match every place setting’s glasses…which you will see when I post the full tablescape. I have also used vintage earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. And it doesn’t have to be vintage it just has to be the look you are trying to achieve. There is no limit to what you can come up with when you let creativity take over 🙂cropped-img_20160608_161823.jpgThis is a flower hair clip and mardi gras beads 🙂IMG_20160806_161615 (1)This is a napkin ring! I love it! 🙂

Sneak peek Pre-Fall Tablescape

img_20160906_172744September is an odd month for décor. It’s mostly, not officially Fall and at the tail end of Summer. Sure you could do back to school themes or Patriotic/Labor Day themes but I am just too ready for Fall at this point! I am ready to smell pumpkin spice and cinnamon! So I have found a happy medium. I throw a little Fall in but I control myself and keep the Summer feel. Of course, I have fallen prey to the Fall scents and that is going strong throughout the entire house. I NEVER tire of pumpkin, autumn leaves, apple spice, and cinnamon stick. I start to change the house into warmer colors but I refrain from pumpkins, scarecrows and leaves. It takes a lot of self control but I manage :). I will post more sneak peeks and soon the full explosion of Fall will be everywhere and especially all over my blog!! Yummy happiness 🙂